Bettane + Desseauve’s monthly tasting is back on December 19 with fizzy bubbles including Champagne, Cava and sparkling cider that are going to usher in a bubbly new year. Here are five must-try bottles at the upcoming tasting in Wanchai.
Chmpagne Paul Goerg Cuvée Lady 2007
It’s only fitting to start the night’s tasting on a high note with a rare vintage Champagne from the heart of Cote de Blancs. A cooperative founded in 1950, Champagne Paul Goerg has 120 hectares in Cotes de Blancs. Made from 100% old-vine Chardonnay from Champagne Paul Goerg’s prestigious Vertus vineyard, a premier cru site in Cote de Blancs, this premium cuvee is made from grapes selected from 2007 vintage, an unusual vintage marked with coolness and freshness. The wine is aged for 9 years before release and has 4 grams of sugar per liter.
Tasting note: Golden colour with silvery glints. Very elegant effervescence. Nose is very complex, dominated by mineral expressions, citrus fruits and peach. It gradually gets more intense and evolves toward butter and toast nuances, typical of Chardonnay. Apricot and vine peach notes, together with citrus fruit and spice aromas sublimate this complex nose. The mouth is surprisingly fresh, and it lasts throughout the tasting until slightly peppered end. This voluptuous vintage is also very delicate and complex.
Champagne Taittinger Brut Prestige Rosé
This prestige rosé from one of the top family-owned Champagne houses, Champagne Taittinger, is a delightful bubble that can be enjoyed early on in the evening or at the end of the night. The wine is made with roughly 15% of still red wine produced from the estate’s best Pinot Noir plots in Montagne de Reims and Les Ricey, giving it an intense and shimmering salmon colour. The high proportion of Chardonnay (30%) that completes the blend brings the elegance and delicacy that underpin Taittinger’s signature style. The wine is also blended with Pinot Meunier, which gives it body and structure.
Tasting note: The nose is strong and expressive, characterized by the aroma of freshly crushed wild strawberries, cherries and blackcurrants. The addition of its delicate bubbles brings four words to mind: vibrancy, fruitiness, freshness and acidity – characteristics which only a great rosé blend can offer.
The rosé is sold in Hong Kong through Fine Vintage.
Eric Bordelet Sydre Argelette
After a long apprenticeship with some of the greatest names in the restaurant business and the world of wine, former sommelier, Eric Bordelet, took over the family business of cider making in 1992. Located in southern Normandy on the massif Armorican in France, the property consists of 23 hectares of certified organic cider apple, perry and corme orchards. The estate grows around 30 varieties of apple, around 20 varieties of perry pears and a varied selection of corme. This sparkling cider from the family estate with only 5% abv is on the lighter side for people who want to ease into the night.
Tasting note: Argelette, named after the stony schist found locally, is a complex blend and made from the maximum amount of varieties from the oldest trees that particular year has to offer. A vinous sydre which keeps well thanks to its balance between matter, acidity, roundness and minerality.
Available in Hong Kong via La Cabane.
Champagne De Sousa Brut Tradition
A blend of 50% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Meunier, the Brut Tradition Champagne is from Demeter-certified biodynamic Champagne producer de Sousa. A small grower Champagne estate located in the prized Avize, a grand cru village in Champagne, the de Sousa family has been making serious wines there since 1950s. The grapes used for the Brut Tradition have an average age of 25-30 years, giving the wine concentration and body.
Tasting note: Very refreshing Chardonnay and good liveliness. With floral notes, from white flowers, citrus fruits and ripe pears, but also red fruits.
The wine is sold in Hong Kong through Champagne Asia.
Parès Balta, brut Nature ( Catalonia- Spain)
Away from Champagne, another big sparkling wine producing region is Spain’s Catalonia where Cava, a sparkling wine made using Champagne method, is an unbeatable alternative for good value bubbles. This Brut Nature from Parés Baltà, a storied Spanish winery with history going back to 18th century, is a blend of Spanish indigenous grapes including 42% Xarel·lo, 31% Macabeu, 27% Parellada cultivated applying Organic & Biodynamic farming. The wine is aged for approximately 24 months before release.
Tasting note: Golden yellow color, intense, with notes of brioche and mature fruits. On the palate, it is soft and balanced, which shows good structure. The secondary aroma from the ageing dominates, with light toast and hints from yeast. Long and complex finish.
The wine is available in Hong Kong through Sarment Wine & Spirits.